Referring to Donald Trump’s idea of a national registry for Muslim Americans, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, recently said, “If one day Muslim Americans are forced to register their identities, that is the day that this proud Jew will register as Muslim.” That’s nice, but it’s also dumb.
We’ve heard lots of other well-intentioned people say the same thing, even The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah: if Trump creates a Muslim registry, non-Muslims should help mess it up by signing up for it. But instead of accepting the reality of a Muslim registry and signing up for it, allies should oppose the registry before a single person gets asked to join it.
A Muslim registry is nothing short of abhorrent and horrifying. To cast 3.3 million Muslim-Americans as a security threat (especially when most domestic terrorism actually comes from extremist right-wingers), is needlessly stigmatizing and a massive waste of taxpayer dollars. A Muslim registry should also remind everyone too much of German’s pre-Holocaust Jewish registries and make us really fucking uncomfortable.
So, if Trump starts a Muslim registry, please don’t sign up for it — help fucking destroy it. Call your legislators and representatives and demand that they shut the registry offices down. We shouldn’t accept religious intolerance and Islamophobia in our communities, full stop. And if it even looks remotely likely to happen, we should oppose it to the fullest extent possible rather than reaching for the pen.